Meet the designer: A Box of Tricks

Elaine Owen, Director of A Box of Tricks, speaks to Showhome about her passion for interiors and this summer’s hottest trends

How did you get into interior design?

I loved art and design from an early age and had a great art teacher at school who had a passion for interior design. I took furnishing textiles as a degree and then trained in interior design through my first job.

What or who are your inspirations?

Colour and texture have always been my inspiration – I love unusual mixes and making them work.

How does your design process begin?

I usually start with either a statement piece of furniture or fabric and build a scheme from that. I sometimes take inspiration from art and paintings in which I have a huge interest.

What tips can you recommend to update a home this summer?

A splash of colour to summer it up! There are a lot of neutrals around again and embroidery is still current, so by just adding colour and a bit of detail will do the trick!

If there is one trend we should invest in over the summer, what should it be?

The latest trend I believe is a move away from chrome and silver and back to brass or antique gold. It can be classy and timeless… some lacquered finishes and painted furniture is also a good look this year.

Does your work have a signature style and feel?

I like to think so… I try to always create a lifestyle when designing – one that is aspirational and affordable to clients.

What advice would you give to a new home/first time buyers on how to start choosing interiors?

If you have a favourite piece, whether furniture or a painting perhaps then keep it and start your interior from there. Choose neutral colours for the walls and windows to start and then you can add style and vibrance in the furnishings and accessories. Lighting is always important and you should live in a property for a little while before thinking about redesigning to understand how the light works.

What is the most frustrating aspect of your job?

I work a lot with developers in creating show homes and sometimes there is not enough of a budget to create the interior that I would really like to.

And the most rewarding one?

I love it when I get to see the room evolve from start to finish: The initial fabric to the whole house.

What is the style of your home?

Mine is quite eclectic…I love various styles. Mainly, though, it is simple and uncluttered.

Has the economy had an impact on your business?

This last year has been very unpredictable and has a little impact. Talking to clients and other representatives they have all felt the same.

What has been the most challenging project this far?

I like to find all my projects a challenge as I believe this helps me grow as a designer.

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